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Peck

Rub Rail Leds

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So Santa brought me some led strips to put on the boat. I've got a set of the red/green navigation lights, 2 sets of UV lights, and a green light to use between the 2 UV. I see that most people put them inside the rub rail, buty question is what's the best way to do this? It seems that if I remove a section of the center then the led strips will be set to far back and the strip won't fit the gap very well. Is there an easy way to cut out a section without completing removing the entire insert so that I end up with a better fit? Do any of you guys have some installed that you could post some pics of so I can some ideas before I start installing? 

I also have the deck light kit to put in, but I think it is a little more straight forward. I'm hoping to step up my night fishing game and with all these lights I should be well on my way. I just want a good clean install when I'm done. 

Thanks in advance for the tips. I'll post some pics along the way and the final product when I get it all done. 

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Mounted mine on top of the edge of the rail. Have seen a lot of different ways folks have mounted them including under the rail which i honestly like the looks of better than where i mounted mine. I probably like my compartment and deck lights the best for convenience. The UV's not so much. Mine seem to have dissolved from the inside out. I have replaced these with solid blue for the time being. Most likely will add jacks and Moonlights for night fishing. haven't found a fluorocarbon line that glows that i like. 

As far as installation advice: buy an extra spool or so of 3M gray all weather mounting tape. Have a small gauge welding rod or wire to help feed wire through pilot holes. Spend some time laying out how you want to run wires and switches. The wires are polarity sensitive and won't work if you wire one backwards, so it's also helpful to have a 9V battery to test each section as you go. The tape/adhesive on the strips follow the same rules as glues as far as temperature and humidity if you don't have a heated garage to do this in. 

Good luck and post some pics.

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I'm not 100% on this, so a lil more research is certainly in order, but I think the ones you see in the rub rail are designed to go there.....like a special fit piece.

Ross' look awesome, so he's a great source of info on this.

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I would ask moonlite about this he has an exceptional product and history with LEDs , I have seen a few boats that if I were in market to buy I would simply walk away because of install, I personally don't want the pimped look, good luck with the install

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2 hours ago, trackertxw175 said:

Mounted mine on top of the edge of the rail. Have seen a lot of different ways folks have mounted them including under the rail which i honestly like the looks of better than where i mounted mine. I probably like my compartment and deck lights the best for convenience. The UV's not so much. Mine seem to have dissolved from the inside out. I have replaced these with solid blue for the time being. Most likely will add jacks and Moonlights for night fishing. haven't found a fluorocarbon line that glows that i like. 

As far as installation advice: buy an extra spool or so of 3M gray all weather mounting tape. Have a small gauge welding rod or wire to help feed wire through pilot holes. Spend some time laying out how you want to run wires and switches. The wires are polarity sensitive and won't work if you wire one backwards, so it's also helpful to have a 9V battery to test each section as you go. The tape/adhesive on the strips follow the same rules as glues as far as temperature and humidity if you don't have a heated garage to do this in. 

Good luck and post some pics.

I worry about the UV's not holding up as well. I got a cheaper set so time will tell I guess. My boat has the Jacks for moonlights, but since I haven't fished much at night I didn't want to drop a ton of money on them yet. I really like the deck lights. I set a few out and hooked to a spare battery and they look great. I don't have anything for the compartments yet, but I'm guessing that will be next on the list. I've got all the switches and a plan on how I want everything to hook up. Just need to dig a little deeper in the boat to find the best route and figure out where I want the switches to go. 

 

1 hour ago, Mountainman said:

I'm not 100% on this, so a lil more research is certainly in order, but I think the ones you see in the rub rail are designed to go there.....like a special fit piece.

I have seen a lot online mounted in the rail with a kit designed for it, some replace the entire rail, but man they are pricey. I've also seen some hack jobs in the rail and I want to avoid that. I don't like they way they look above the rail on my boat. The boat is white and the LED strips really stand out against that white background. Under the rail may be an option that will work. I'll have to tape one up and see how it looks this afternoon. 

 

2 minutes ago, country said:

I have seen a few boats that if I were in market to buy I would simply walk away because of install, I personally don't want the pimped look, good luck with the install

I want to avoid the ghetto look as well and hopefully end up with a good clean factory look when I'm finished. 

 

 

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I just cut out the section of rub rail to fit mine. One word of advice though, make your marks then put a screw on each side of your cutout before you cut the rail. Otherwise the rail will retract back and you'll have a gap between the lights and rail (don't ask me how I know this). As for the uv, I'd definitely go to moonlites. I've been in several boats now with the blue water uv kits and they just don't have the oomph a moonlite does imo 

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My Son in Law (Tommy) wanted to surprise me for my birthday last year and he spent a small fortune having LEDs put on my Skeeter last year thinking I would do more night fishing than I had been if the boat was better lit up so I could see around in it better. The reason I was not doing any more night fishing than I was is because I could not find anyone to go with me and as I have gotten older I think it is better to have a second person in the boat. I was completely happy with my Hoppy Low Profile Black Lights and my head lights that will light up a football field to see where I am going. I wear a cap light for moving around in the boat.

Now as for the LED lights. If I could get Photo bucket to work better I would show more of them because he had Livewells and all compartments lit also but you can get an idea from these pictures regarding the Black lights. They are mounted below the rub rails and not in the rub rails. He was really excited about doing this for me and he spent a lot of money to get it done. Now with that said. Before Summer was half over about 1/2 the lights began to fail and needed to be replaced. Finally after putting up with many of them not working I am having them removed before next summer and going back to my old way of fishing. I am not saying not to put them on your boat. I am just saying what experience I had with them. May not happen to others. 

 

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1 hour ago, SteveHTN said:

I just cut out the section of rub rail to fit mine. One word of advice though, make your marks then put a screw on each side of your cutout before you cut the rail. Otherwise the rail will retract back and you'll have a gap between the lights and rail (don't ask me how I know this). As for the uv, I'd definitely go to moonlites. I've been in several boats now with the blue water uv kits and they just don't have the oomph a moonlite does imo 

My rail insert is sort of like a T. I think if I completely cut it out it will look bad. Most boats seem to have a round tube insert and I've seen some clever ways to use some clear tubing and heat shrink tube to make that syle work and look factory, I just don't think my rail will work like those. I don't have a ton of money in these, but I think it will be a good way to see if I even like fishing after dark. If I do, I'll invest in some Moonlites, especially since the boat already has the jacks for them. 

Doug your's looks good. Hopefully mine will hold up a little better and I don't spend a ton of time putting them in for them to crap out a few months down the road. 

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2 hours ago, Peck said:

My rail insert is sort of like a T. I think if I completely cut it out it will look bad. Most boats seem to have a round tube insert and I've seen some clever ways to use some clear tubing and heat shrink tube to make that syle work and look factory, I just don't think my rail will work like those. I don't have a ton of money in these, but I think it will be a good way to see if I even like fishing after dark. If I do, I'll invest in some Moonlites, especially since the boat already has the jacks for them. 

Doug your's looks good. Hopefully mine will hold up a little better and I don't spend a ton of time putting them in for them to crap out a few months down the road. 

Thanks Peck. It does look good when she is lit up and it is all working. Since Tommy took it back to the company that installed them and raised heck about the short life of the lights they ask him to leave the boat with them. About a week later they called him to come and pick it up. When he got there the guy turned on every light and every light worked great. When he got home he took a closer look at the lights and the entire lighting system was redone with a different brand of light style. Since then we have not had any issues with them. I think they may have put a cheaper brand of lights in the first time trying to make more profit and it ended up costing them on the back end. My only problem with all the lighting is trying to hide on other anglers when your fishing and the boat is lit up like a Party boat. I don't turn them on when I am fishing but Tommy thinks they are cool so he does light up the boat when he is not with me...........:lol: When i fish in it I use the Black lights only and depend on my cap light to see my way around in the boat. When running I do use the bow and stern lights. The company did install a nice control panel for it and each light system is on a different switch..................:cheers:

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I agree with Doug that I wouldn't wanna be lit up like the 4th while I'm fishing (course in my case it wouldn't hurt me for someone to crash my spots since there's nothing ever there), but being able to turn on the deck lights and see what you're doing is nice. Since I put lights in my cockpit and compartments, as well as my livewells, it's been a lot easier to see what I'm doing when I need to. I keep everything switched separately so I only turn on what I need at any given time. 

As for fishing after dark, I honestly think you'll love it once you get used to it. 

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4 minutes ago, SteveHTN said:

I agree with Doug that I wouldn't wanna be lit up like the 4th while I'm fishing (course in my case it wouldn't hurt me for someone to crash my spots since there's nothing ever there), but being able to turn on the deck lights and see what you're doing is nice. Since I put lights in my cockpit and compartments, as well as my livewells, it's been a lot easier to see what I'm doing when I need to. I keep everything switched separately so I only turn on what I need at any given time. 

As for fishing after dark, I honestly think you'll love it once you get used to it. 

In All honesty I would rather fish at night than in the day light any time except during a storm. You don't have to deal with all the recreational boats and jet skies and most times the winds have layed down. Very peaceful. Only thing that bothers me now is coming off the water with all the crazy people and it be midnight or later when your coming off the water. I have made it a point to only use lighted boat ramps and before I drop my partner off on the dock I turn my boat headlights on and scan the entire wooded areas around the parking area to make sure no one is waiting in ambush. That is what I love most about my headlamps on my Skeeter. They are Airplane Landing Lights just like on any airliner and they are bright. You can't hide from them in the woods very easy. Plus I am armed and so is my partner.

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I've got 5 switches in mind, deck lights (possibly add a dimmer), UV left, UV right, Green left, green right, and have the navigation lights wired directly off the front nav light, even though I may end up adding a switch to this too depending on how they reflect on the water. I'm thinking I may want them on a switch too. 

I dont mind people fishing around me. Chances are you're in the wrong place if you are anywhere around where I'm fishing lol. 

I'm always packing some heat, night or day!

Edited by Peck

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Be careful having green lights on the left side of your boat. I was walleye fishing on Watauga last year and got checked by the game warden. I had my moonlites out with the green lights on and he gave me a warning for having green lights on the left side of the boat. He told me it would be a $235.00 fine if he caught me again. The bad part I was only 10 feet off the bank in 4 feet of water and no were near the main channel.

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Moonlight is way to go I got a cheap set uv led rub rail lights on eBay junk frist year were good shape 2nd year over half led went out hope this helps 

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This is my old boat all lit up. A 1990 Javelin 378 FS. The LEDs were in strips that were mounted on the underside of the rub rails. Not even visible unless you were under the boat. They could be changed to any color by the press of a button and each side operated independently of the other. They did light the boat up like a Christmas tree, so you were not hiding from anyone but.... With those green lights you could reach down in the water with your hands and grab a hand full of baitfish. They were so thick under the boat you could have walked on them. 

 

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Got the inside wired up. Didn't use the 3m strips yet just masking taped down til it warms up a little in the garage. I also went ahead and pulled most of the main wire for the outside LEDs. Just need to decide on where to put on the outside and drill. Think I've decided not to try to go in the rub rail. I'm worried it'll look bad and be harder to reverse if I decide to pull the LEDs off. Probably going just below the rail. More pics to come.

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looks really good. I have been thinking of installing some deck lights like that on my tracker. Luckily the tracker has a lip in the gunwale that hids any lights I put up in there.

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Looks good. You'll be amazed how handy it is to have lighting on the decks. Don't know how I ever fished at night without them

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1 hour ago, Karma said:

looks really good. I have been thinking of installing some deck lights like that on my tracker. Luckily the tracker has a lip in the gunwale that hids any lights I put up in there.

These are definitely not hidden, but they look good. Sits right on a trim piece, small hole with a grommet for the wires. Not quite a factory look, but not bad either. 

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57 minutes ago, Peck said:

These are definitely not hidden, but they look good. Sits right on a trim piece, small hole with a grommet for the wires. Not quite a factory look, but not bad either. 

I was looking at doing something like this

 

 

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Finally found some time to finish this little project up. Looks great in the garage, can't wait to see it on the water.

Here's a few finished pics:

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